I had a worried five minutes this evening. I was brushing Echo in preparation for riding her and noticed a lump on the front of her off-side hind. It was too far forward to be a splint and had no heat in it, but was definitely a lump. Recently, I had been thanking my lucky stars for the fact that I actually have a horse to ride now, and was worried that I might have jinxed things! I am not a supersticious person, but horses certainly make you 'touch wood' a little more frequently than you usually might!
After trotting up sound a couple of times, I was happy that it was almost certainly just a small knock. She is in season at the moment, and living in a field of mares means that things can become a little fractious at times! It is likely that one of the mares caught her leg and hence the lump appeared. It didn't seem to be causing her any discomfort at all, so I rode her for a short while in the indoor school.
She was a delight to ride this evening, after a brief disagreement over the mounting block! She is beginning to understand the idea of leg-yielding now, although I am still having to use my weight rather dramatically to explain it to her. I have another week before my next lesson, so I will hopefully be able to consolidate this before that. She felt lovely in my hand and was willing to bend from my leg - I ended up only riding her for about twenty minutes again - she just didn't need to do any more!
I have managed to get hold of an in-hand bridle for Saturday. I hadn't planned on being so competitive, but another coloured horse at my yard is being kitted out in all the gear, so I thought I had better give Echo the best chance possible! I have, however, realised that I know absolutely nothing about showing - not even what to wear myself. I also have not plaited with thread for years; in the dressage yard I worked in I was nearly always able to use bands, as we then used white tape to make the plaits look beautiful. I am tempted to use bands anyway, simply because I am better and quicker at plaiting with them and it is only a little local show after all. In the end, it may come down to how willing Echo is to stand and be fussed over that morning!